Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 24 November |
Saint of the Day: St. Andrew Dung-Lac and the Martyrs of Vietnam
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Auschwitz survivor and her rescuer celebrate 70 years of marriage

Edith Steiner and John Mackay

Wullie Marr for BUPA | Deadline | Fair Use

Sophia Swinford - published on 08/01/17

This Holocaust survivor married the soldier who rescued her, and they spent over 7 decades together.

In 1944, Edith Steiner was only 20 years old when she was liberated from Auschwitz by a Scottish unit of soldiers which included John Mackay, a 23-year-old soldier who had escaped from a prisoner of war camp by disguising himself as an Italian soldier.




Read more:
Midwife from Auschwitz: The woman who saved hundreds of newborns

Edith and her mother were the only members of her family to survive the Holocaust, having lost 39 other relatives. Her time in Auschwitz also overlapped with that of the infamous Angel of Death (Josef Mengele), an SS officer renowned for his deadly experiments on humans.

It was at a dance celebrating their release that Edith was first approached by a friend of John’s asking her if she would dance with him, but Edith responded that she wanted John to ask her himself. And he did just that. The two of them were married on July 17, 1946.

Edith Steiner and John Mackay
Wullie Marr for BUPA | Deadline | Fair Use

The couple later owned a hotel together in Scotland and had two children, Sharon and Peter.

Edith Steiner and John Mackay
Wullie Marr for BUPA | Deadline | Fair Use

Edith passed away earlier this year, but not before she and John celebrated their 71st Valentine’s Day together. The photos of Edith and John on this special Valentine’s went viral, and it’s not hard to see why. The couple stands as a beautiful testimony not only to long-lasting love, but also to love found in the most painful of places.

Edith Steiner and John Mackay
Wullie Marr for BUPA | Deadline | Fair Use

Tags:
MarriageWorld War II
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
UPSET
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Quotes from the saints to help you deal wit...
Giuseppe Moscati
Larry Peterson
A volcano, a plague, a war: This doctor-saint...
Luz Ivonne Ream
What’s the secret of this couple’s 64 years o...
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
MONSTRANCE,GOLD,EUCHARIST
J-P Mauro
Cardinal calls Catholics to attend global Euc...
CHRIST THE KING
Edifa
Why do we say that "Christ is King"?
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.